Update: Added content from Auto Business Review.
Xpeng's vice president of autonomous driving, Wu Xinzhou, is rumored to be leaving the company and is set to join US chip giant Nvidia.
Shares of Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV) traded in Hong Kong saw a rare plunge today, as rumors spread widely that the company's head of autonomous driving is leaving.
At least two articles seen by CnEVPost posted on Baidu and WeChat said that Xpeng's vice president of autonomous driving, Wu Xinzhou, is leaving the company and will join US chip giant Nvidia.
One of the articles was posted just before 8 am this morning, and the other in the late afternoon. CnEVPost can't confirm the authenticity of the information, as neither of the sources are routinely tracked by us.
Notably, minutes after the CnEVPost article was published, Auto Business Review, a leading Chinese automotive media outlet, also reported on the rumor, saying that Wu will become Nvidia's global vice president.
Xpeng's Hong Kong-traded shares plunged 14.63 percent to HK$70.60 by Wednesday's close, the biggest one-day drop since October 28, 2022.
Xpeng closed down 4.16 percent in the US stock market on Tuesday. At press time, it was down 9.53 percent in US pre-market trading Wednesday.
Rumors about Wu's departure may be a major factor in Xpeng's big drop in Hong Kong today.
The company's figures released yesterday showed it delivered 11,008 vehicles in July, its sixth sequential increase. More than 3,900 units of the highly anticipated G6 were delivered.
Wu joined Xpeng in March 2019 and has led the company to become one of China's most recognizable names in self-driving technology in just a few years.
He has been responsible for overall autonomous driving technology route planning, business and team management at Xpeng and reports to He Xiaopeng, the EV maker's chairman and CEO.
A graduate of China's top-ranked Tsinghua University, Wu joined Xpeng after more than a decade at Qualcomm, where he focused primarily on autonomous driving solutions.
On June 15, Xpeng's City NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot) feature was available in Beijing for users participating in public testing, making it the first EV maker to do so in China.
City NGP is an ADAS function similar to Tesla's FSD, which allows the vehicle to perform a full range of driving tasks when it is activated and the navigation destination is set.
The feature has previously been available in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai, and Xpeng aims to have City NGP cover dozens of additional cities within the year.